Today’s top accountants aren’t merely paper-pushers, covering the mathematical busy work and balancing the books for the higher-ups. The most talented and driven accountants become what we call an Accountepreneur, fostering the growth of the businesses they serve at a fundamental level, often moving into powerful executive roles or taking the lead in their own ventures to start a firm of their own.
But to move up the ranks in your profession, and to really make your worth known, it’ll take more than just an intimate knowledge of GAAP because being a business owner and entrepreneur is a whole other world from being an accountant in an established firm. Here are a few ways to multiply your skills, internalize a growth mindset, and expand your opportunities.
Think beyond finance. Last year, the executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles found that about 30 percent of CEOs spend the beginning years of their career mastering the ins-and-outs of finance. These fundamentals provide the knowledge companies need to stay afloat, save money, and make the best decisions for financial growth — but they’re often not enough.
In order to move up the ranks, you need to provide value beyond your average bookkeeper. This means studying up on business strategy so that you can shrewdly deploy key moves for your company and get noticed, giving you even more opportunities for personal expansion.
Take every possible opportunity to broaden your horizons. Make yourself visible on company committees, and gain a firm understand of the operations of different departments within your organization. Aid the decision-makers in your company in steering the ship. Whenever you can, invest in professional education — it may even be worth it to go back to school and secure an MBA.
One resource that many accounting professionals neglect is simply asking for help. If you don’t have a firm grasp on a component of the business, ask someone in the organization who does. Many CEOs and high-ranking professionals are eager to share their stories and secrets to success, and are happy to act as a mentor. What’s more, by letting them know you’re searching for more opportunities to learn, you’re opening yourself up to further responsibility and trust.
Learn how to pitch. When it comes to accountants, sales is often not their strong suit, but it’s a important part of any successful accountepreneur’s toolbox. If you notice an underutilized accounting strategy that might save the firm or your client thousands of dollars, it won’t matter if you aren’t able to explain in a convincing manner and make a case for it in front of the decision-makers. Rarely will opportunities come out of the blue for you — you’ll have to actively seek them out and keep your mind open to opportunities. Develop your speaking and planning skills in tandem. This will not only enable you to make a case for your insights and strategies, but increase your mobility within any organization, and equip you with the skills you’ll need should you set out on your own.
Regardless of your aspirations, any driven accountepreneur needs the tools to do the job right. Shave precious hours off your accounting tasks, and discover new ways to save your business (and clients!) money, with AccountingSuite. We partner with you from the beginning to build your firm, tailor to the needs of your clients, and deliver unmatched support. Schedule a demo today with one of our partner specialists.